After a rough first half of the Battle 4 Atlantic semi-finals, the Wisconsin Badgers fought back with a huge 22-6 run led by both Sam Dekker and Bronson Koenig to seal a victory in the Semi-finals against the Georgetown Hoyas.
The Badgers will go on tomorrow to play against the Oklahoma Sooners, who look to be on a power surge. Here are the grades based on the players’ performances following tonight’s victory.
Frank Kaminsky- D+
Stat line: 6 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
Kaminsky got out to a rough start, being held scoreless for the first eight minutes followed by only five points in the first. Those five points turned into only 6 in the second as he only hit one more free throw. Kaminsky certainly did not play up to the expectations, entering the season as an All-American player. Kaminsky will be looking to step up his game as the Badgers face Oklahoma tomorrow, showing that he is the main force to be reckoned with.
Traevon Jackson- C-
Stat line: 2 points, 3 rebounds, 3 turnovers, 0-3 shooting
Jackson did not see much playing time in the game as he went out with two fouls early and had four during the second. As Koenig started shooting, it was clear who was the better point guard today. Jackson started off with two missed-easy layups, which set the tone for him for the rest of the game. Jackson only had one more missed shot which was also a layup that ended up being tipped in by Hayes. Traevon looked sloppy and turned the ball enough times for one night. Look to see who will get more playing time against the Sooners between Jackson and Koenig.
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Sam Dekker- A
Stat line: 17 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 6-11 shooting
Dekker is seeming to finally return to his old form. After an ankle injury that subdued Dekker in the first couple of games, he has been recovering both fast and well. Shooting six of 11 from the field, Dekker was looked for in the second half to deliver. Dekker alongside Bronson were the reasons for why the Badgers eventually took the lead and sealed the game. Watch for Dekker to continue delivering for the Badgers and to potentially become their leading scorer.
Nigel Hayes- B+
Stat line: 15 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 turnovers, 5-7 shooting
Posting almost the same stats as Dekker, Hayes had 15 points with seven boards. Hayes stepped up in the first half when it seemed as though the whole Badger team was off. Hayes was successful in keeping the Badgers in the game going into halftime. While others stepped up in the second, Hayes didn’t shoot as much yet drew fouls and got some boards. Hayes looked shaky in the second as well, pushing to the basket and losing control of the ball. In all Hayes played well, and even better, he played consistently.
Josh Gasser- C-
Stat line: 4 points, 2 steals, 1-2 shooting
While Gasser showed a bit of presence on the court with his passing, he didn’t see as much playing time as he got into foul trouble. Gasser was not set up with many open shots, and was only presented with 2 open shots, hitting only one of them. Gasser did not record any rebounds or blocks but had two steals. Look for Gasser to step up tomorrow and hit some big threes.
Bronson Koenig- A-
Stat line: 14 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists, 6-10 shooting
Man did Koenig step up. As Jackson went into foul trouble, Koenig got plenty of time to step up. Working smoothly around the arc, Koenig set himself up many times with open threes. Not only did he set himself up but also set up others with four assists. Koenig showed his statement today as to why he should be the starting point-guard.
Duje Dukan- B
Stat line: 8 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist
While key players from the starting line struggled, the bench stepped up. Dukan was one of them. Dukan hit two clutch shots from beyond the arc, followed by two free-throws, launching the Badgers back into the game following a big deficit in the middle of the second half. Out of the rough times Dukan got hit with two wide open three-point shots, sinking both.
Zak Showalter- C
Stat line: 2 points, 1 rebound
Showalter did not see much playing time as Koenig stepped up, yet he hit a shot and posted one board.
The Badgers play looked sloppy in general against the Hoyas, yet started to look better towards the end of the game. This game will be an example and threatener to the second-ranked team, showing they can not just show up but must play effectively. While some players had a huge positive impact, the team looked dead as a whole until the end. Bad ball control and sloppy passing led to many turnovers in the first. The Badgers will be more alert following this win and will look to be more controlling against the Sooners.